DriveThruRPG.com
Browse Categories
$ to $















Back
pixel_trans.gif
Other comments left by this customer:
You must be logged in to rate this
pixel_trans.gif
Old-School Essentials: The Necromancer
Publisher: Necrotic Gnome
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 11/30/2022 10:18:27

Originally posted here: https://theotherside.timsbrannan.com/2018/09/class-struggles-necromancer-part-2.html

One of the newest necromancers on the block and designed specifically for Old School Essentials. This is designated as "Play Test Material" but it really is ready to go. There have been necromancers for OSE before and there is at least one necromancer for other B/X-Basic games written by Gavin Norman already. Here the Necromancer is a subclass of the Magic-user, as would be expected, and some notes are given about using these new spells for the magic-user. But thematically they fit with the necromancer much better. The new spells are from 1st to 6th level and there are 12 of each. I see why there are twelve of each; to fit the style and layout of what Gavin does with his OSE games. But I would have been tempted to make it a nice 13 per level myself.

The spells are good and fit well. Some we have seen in other forms and formats over the past few years, but that does not detract from this book at all. Do you want a great OSE necromancer? Well, here it is. The format used here could be adopted for all sorts of other magic-user type classes or subclasses like the Illusionist or Enchanter for example.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Old-School Essentials: The Necromancer
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

pixel_trans.gif
Old-School Essentials Purist Character Sheet
Publisher: Necrotic Gnome
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 11/01/2022 14:55:35

You always need more character sheets and with Old-School Essentials you have a few options. This sheet follows the design philosophy of OSE. Make it functional, make it simple and make it work.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Old-School Essentials Purist Character Sheet
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

pixel_trans.gif
Old-School Essentials Vagabond Character Sheet
Publisher: Necrotic Gnome
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 11/01/2022 14:55:20

You always need more character sheets and with Old-School Essentials you have a few options. This sheet follows the design philosophy of OSE. Make it functional, make it simple and make it work.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Old-School Essentials Vagabond Character Sheet
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

pixel_trans.gif
Witch: Fated Souls 2e Quickstart
Publisher: Angry Hamster Publishing
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 11/01/2022 13:24:21

Orignially posted here: https://theotherside.timsbrannan.com/2022/10/100-days-of-halloween-witch-fated-souls.html

Witch: Fated Souls Second Edition

I have been a fan of Witch: Fated Souls and Elizabeth Chaipraditkul for a while now. I even got her to the foreword for my own The Green Witch for Swords & Wizardry book.

So for this Halloween day, I give you Witch: Fated Souls Second Edition, Quickstart, AND the Witch: Fated Souls Second Edition, Kickstarter.

Quickstart

PDF. 36 pages. Full-color cover and interior art.

Design & Development: Elizabeth Chaipraditkul & Steffie de Vaan

This quick start covers the basic rules of Witch: Fated Souls Second Edition and includes a quick adventure to play.

Like the 1st Edition, Witch: FS2 deals with people (Witches or "The Fated") who sell their souls for power in the modern world. The different sorts of "demons" these characters sell their souls to will determine what sorts of power they will get and how they interact with the world, or their "Fates".

Pausing for a second I can see already improvements in gameplay, readability, and layout of this Quickstart over the original Witch: FS1.

Characters now have nine abilities, not eight, and are grouped by Mind, Body, and Spirit with three sub-attributes each. These are all explained and how they are used in the QS. Checks are also explained. The new mechanics are based on Elizabeth Chaipraditkul and Steffie de Vaan's other game Afterlife: Wandering Souls. This opens up a whole level of play if you have both games. But I am going to wait on that one.

We have a section on magic and knowing Witch: FS1 there is going to be a lot more in Witch: FS2.

There is even some detail on advancement. So really, as far as characters go you have enough here to keep you busy until the Second Edition Kickstarter is done.

Demons are covered in their own section and they are the most interesting and likely complicated thing in this game. Complicated that is in how to run them and interact with their Fated.

The last half of the quickstart covers the included sample adventure, "The Devil Made Me Do It."

There are included NPCs, similar to the ones that appear in Witch: FS1 and using the same art; which is great for returning players helping them get acclimated to the new system. It is recommended you use these characters to aid you in learning the game.

The Fated

If the full product is anything like this Quickstart then we are in for a treat!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Witch: Fated Souls 2e Quickstart
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

pixel_trans.gif
Open Grave: Secrets of the Undead (4e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 10/31/2022 12:25:48

Originally posted here: https://theotherside.timsbrannan.com/2022/10/monstrous-mondays-d-undead.html

Ghosts. Vampires. The Undead. These are the monsters that got me into D&D from the start. Yes it was fun to see all the monsters of mythology here, but I didn't want to be Perseus or Heracles, I wanted to be Van Helsing (I ended up as Dr. Seward, and that is fine).

So it is to the undead that my monster-hunting eye has always turned. This has been true for every edition of D&D I have played. Second Edition AD&D had Ravenloft and The Complete Book of Necromancers. Fourth Edition has had today's subject.

Open Grave: Secrets of the Undead (4e)

PDF and Hardcover. 224 pages. Full-color cover and interior art. For this review, I am considering both the PDF from DriveThruRPG and my hard-cover book.

This book has a solid pedigree. First off one of the authors of this, Bruce R. Cordell, was also one of the authors of Libris Mortis: The Book of Undead. He was also one of main designers of the epic HPE series of Orcus-focused adventures for 4e. This means to me at least that if you are running the HPE series and using undead (and of course you are) then this book is a must-buy. There are more details in this book that make it a great book on D&D Undead, but I will get to those in due time.

Chapter 1: Undead Lore

This book starts much like it's 3.5 Edition counterpart. This chapter covers the hows, whats, and whys of undead. There are sections on physiology, outlook, and psychology, as well as society. These sections are very similar to the 3.5 edition, which makes sense, with the addition of edition specific details.

For my point of view, the two books (Open Grave and Libris Mortis) both compliment and complete each other. Together they are not the final words on Undead, but they cover quite a lot.

The section that is newest here is the one on Shadowfell (and thus why it is a great resource for the HPE adventures).

There are few undead monster stat blocks featured here as well.

Chapter 2: DM's Guide to Undead

This covers DM's rules. In particular there are skill challenges, how to handle hauntings, and building undead into campaigns. This section in particular is good advice to any DM of any edition wanting to use undead in their games.

There are also some artifacts detailed here including the Mask and Sword of Kas, the Soul Sword, the Von Zarovich family sword, and more. Like 3.5 there are even some undead grafts.

New rituals are also detailed. Something I felt D&D 4e never had enough of.

Chapter 3: Undead Lairs

Location-based encounters were a big deal in 4e. This covers ones with an undead flavor to them for Heroic, Paragon, and Epic level tiers. Three of each are featured with character levels from 1st to 26th. As with all 4e encounter listings, there are plenty of quasi-unique monsters here. Sometimes they are new, and often they are just an edit on an existing creature.

Chapter 4: New Monsters

Ah, here is what we want! There are more than just undead here, there are the "unliving" as well; monsters that have cheated death but are not undead themselves. There are 122 statblocks of monsters here. These included variations on the Ghoul, Lich, Mummy, Skeleton, Vampire, and Zombie. There are new creatures including undead constructs and oozes. Our old friend the Brain in the Jar from Ravenloft is also back. So many of these are at least familiar to me and some are new.

Undead Hall of Infamy

This flows from the Chapter 4 material and is nominally part of Chapter 4, it is its own section. Here we get some stats for some of the biggest undead names in D&D history. They include Acererak, Ctenmiir the Cursed (from White Plume Mountain), Kas the Betrayer, Kyuss, Osterneth the Bronze Lich (a new NPC but has the relic, the Heart of Vecna), Strahd von Zarovich, and Vecna himself.

Templates

Also part of Chapter 4 these are templates for undead creatures.

Alternative Powers

Undead should be unique, so these are alternate power for various undead that replaces one or more of the powers they have listed.

The utility of this book to the 4e DM can not be overstated. Especially if you are running the HPE adventures or dealing with any undead.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Open Grave: Secrets of the Undead (4e)
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

pixel_trans.gif
Libris Mortis: The Book of Undead (3.5)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 10/31/2022 12:24:42

Originally posted here: https://theotherside.timsbrannan.com/2022/10/monstrous-mondays-d-undead.html

Ghosts. Vampires. The Undead. These are the monsters that got me into D&D from the start. Yes it was fun to see all the monsters of mythology here, but I didn't want to be Perseus or Heracles, I wanted to be Van Helsing (I ended up as Dr. Seward, and that is fine).

So it is to the undead that my monster-hunting eye has always turned. This has been true for every edition of D&D I have played. Second Edition AD&D had Ravenloft and The Complete Book of Necromancers. Third Edition has had today's subject.

Libris Mortis: The Book of Undead (3.5)

PDF and Hardcover. 192 pages. Full-color cover and interior art. For this review, I am considering both the PDF from DriveThruRPG and my hard-cover book.

Libris Mortis was the undead book for 3.5. Undead were covered in the Book of Vile Darkness for 3.0 and here they get more attention and more details.

Introduction

Tells us all about this book and the basics of the Undead and undeath.

Chapter 1: All About Undead

Gets into the detail of the undead including how they manifest; largely along the traditional Corporeal/Incorpeal lines. Undead physiology and details like metabolism and feeding are covered. There is a useful table of various undead monsters and whether or not they feed, what they feed on, and whether it is needed or just desired. This also covers their senses which can be very different than the living stock they came from. All Undead have Darkvision 60' for example, but their sense of touch is limited.

Also, undead psychology is covered. Namely, how does one deal with being nearly immortal and never changing? There is a bit on undead religion including some gods (in 3.x format) of the Undead. Some of these we have seen before or have seen mentions of. Doresain the King of Ghouls, Nerull the Reaper, and our good friend Orcus are all mentioned here.

Though one of my favorite sections is the Fighting Undead section which covers weaknesses and tactics that can be used in fighting the undead. Much like Professor Hieronymus Grost informs us in Captain Kronos – Vampire Hunter, all undead (not just vampires) have a means to their destruction. This section should make the undead scarier than other monsters. Orcs and Dragons die the same way. You reduce their HP enough with weapons and they will die. Not always so with Undead.

Chapter 2: Character Options

This is a 3.5 book so there are going to be character options. These start with the feats. They are split between undead-friendly feats and undead-hunting feats.

Building off of the Savage Species there are rules for Undead Characters. This includes level adjustments for undead characters. Not every group will want undead characters, but these rules do help. There are even some Monster Classes. Of course, the best use of these is to make unique undead NPCs to threaten characters with.

Chapter 3: Prestige Classes

3.x was all about the prestige classes. And there are several here that I found a lot of fun. There are Death's Chosen (high level lieutenants for the undead), Dirge Singer (a fun bard idea), Master of Radiance (one my Paladin went into), Master of Shrouds (their evil counterpart), Pale Master (Prestige Divine Necromancer), Sacred Purifier (another good undead fighting class), True Necromancer (Prestige Arcane AND Divine Necromancer). The True Necromancer advances in both Divine and Arcane spellcasting classes and gets special powers. It is also an odd Prestige Class in that it has 14 levels. Obviously to give the maximum effect of taking three levels in a divine class (need Knowledge Religion 8 ranks, cast summon undead II) and three levels in an arcane class (need Knowledge Arcan 8 ranks, cast command undead). I also can't help but think this is an obvious nod to the Death Master.

There are also Undead Prestige Classes such as Lurking Terror, Master Vampire, and the Tomb Warden.

At this point, I could run a 3.5 campaign and battle only undead and never run out of combinations and permutations of monster, class, feat, and prestige class combinations.

Chapter 4: Spells

Covers spells for Assassins, Blackguards, Clerics, Druids, Paladins, and Sorcerer/Wizards. There are many here that are new. I'd have to go line by line to see how many came from the Complete Book of Necromancers.

Chapter 5: Equipment

A shorter chapter that covers new equipment. There are alchemical substances, toxins, poisons as well as undead grafts and magic items.

Chapter 6: New Monsters

Nearly 50 new monsters here and only a few seem to come from previous versions of D&D. The Brain in a Jar stands out as a previous one, but the rest are new.

I never get tired of new monsters, especially undead ones.

Chapter 7: Campaigns

This covers the last quarter or so of the book. It covers how to use undead in various roles including using them in encounters. There is also a great section on variant undead. I believe that all undead should be unique in some fashion, often relating to how they lived or died (see "A Christmas Carol"). Only a few examples are given, but they can be extended to all sorts of undead.

There are various cults here that can be used anywhere and in any version of D&D. There are also adventure sites and seeds which can also be dropped anywhere but require some minor conversion for other versions of the game.

This is one of those books I keep coming back to for more ideas. Yes I have been using the undead in my own games for more than 40 years now, but there is something else to do, something else to learn, and more to the point, more monsters to fight.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Libris Mortis: The Book of Undead (3.5)
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

pixel_trans.gif
World of the Witch 4E
Publisher: Sage of Sorcery Productions
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 10/28/2022 12:05:24

Originally posted here: https://theotherside.timsbrannan.com/2022/10/100-days-of-halloween-world-of-witch-4e.html

Moving up to D&D 4e now (I have pretty much-covered everything for 3e), I get to one of the stand-alone Witch Classes. How is it and how does it compare to the Witch in Player's Option: Heroes of the Feywild?

World of the Witch 4E

PDF. 105 pages. Full-color cover and interior art.

I would call this book a "full service" D&D 4e book. It was published well after 4e was done as a line so it has the advantage of a long development time. It also can incorporate the best of what 4e had to offer.

To start we have seven character themes; the Black Cloak of Vanuna, Cat Sister/Brother, Cauldron Adept, Maleicar, Sea Witch, Temptress/Tempter, and the Witch Priestess. Each gaining some sort of mechanical and roleplaying benefits.

Witch Class

Next, we get to the Witch Class. This is not a subtype of the Wizard like we see in Heroes of the Feywild, but their own class. There is even a nice sidebar about Witches vs. Warlocks. For this witch the abilities are Charisma, Constitution, and Wisdom, so exactly like I would suspect.

There are four archetypes, here known as covens. They are the Hag Witch (combat ready), Karmic Witch (reactor), Primeval Witch, and White Witch. Each gets a feature or power.

All witches get the Bewitch feature at 1st level as well as the Ritual Caster feat.

As with all 4e books, we get a long listing of the various at-will, encounter, daily and utility powers they get. A lot of these look really fun. Makes me miss 4e.

Paragon Paths

At 11th level you can choose a Paragon Path with gives you access to other magic. These are the Night Hag, Black Witch, Pact Witch (you have to be a Witch AND a Warlock), and Shaper. There is some text on other published Paragon Paths.

Note: There is no Epic Destiny here.

New Feats

While not as bad as 3e in terms of feats, 4e still has more than 5e does. But that is fine, I like feats to be honest.

Tools of the Trade

lots of mundane and magical tools for the witch.

Lore & Locations

This covers covens, people, places, and things. This book also has a Daughters of Darkness coven! I suppose that should not be a surprise really. Lots of variety here and that is nice.

There are some NPCs here including a goddess-like figure and some powerful witches.

The Witch Kingdom of Amarath

Now, this has my attention. It was a kingdom for and by witches and ruled over by three Witch Queens. There is not a lot here, but for me, it is worth the price of the PDF.

Witch Adventures

There is a table of 50 plot hooks followed by a section on more developed ideas for a campaign.

There are even new monsters and NPCs listed.

All things considered, I rather like it all. There are a lot of good ideas here and the powers feel about right. I am a bit removed from 4e nowadays, but this makes me want to play it some more.

Compared to the Player's Option: Heroes of the Feywild witch this one has certain benefits. For me, I might combine them and play them all as one class. I would certainly grab the Witch Queen Epic destiny to use here.

The art is fine, but all over the place in terms of quality. I don't fault them for that really. Many I recognize and have used myself, to be honest.

There is no POD option for this and I am going to take that as a plus. Why? Well, I mentioned the modularity of the 4e material before, well I can take this, print the pages I want, and build my own 4e witch book to use. Combine it with other 4e material I have and I can have the ultimate 4e witch. And this book serves as the base for all of that.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
World of the Witch 4E
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

pixel_trans.gif
Worm Witch: The Life and Death of Belinda Blood
Publisher: Knight Owl Publishing
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 10/27/2022 14:37:18

Originally posted here: https://theotherside.timsbrannan.com/2022/09/100-days-of-halloween-worm-witch-life.html

Worm Witch: The Life and Death of Belinda Blood

PDF. 73 pages. Color cover, black & white interior art.

This book is a sequel and elaboration on The Chaos Gods Come to Meatlandia. I don't know much about that other product save that it seems to be a wild "anything goes" sort of setting. This has a similar feel.

This product includes both the Worm Witch and Worm Warden, classes. Witches and Wardens are classes I have also explored in my various book so I am quite excited to see these.

The Worm Warden is like a paladin, ranger, or guardian for the witch cult. They are fighter types. Their primes are Strength and Charisma.

The Worm Witch is a witch class and it shares many similarities with other witch classes. This is largely due to books we all read and the various means we all use to make classes. Personally, I find this great. The Worm Witch could fit in well with all the witches I have played and still have enough unique features to make her special. What makes her special of course is her connection to worms. Even the worm witch's special abilities could be mapped on to my Occult Powers.

Both the Warden and the Witch share a secret language.

The Worm Witch also gains witch spells. And there are some great ones here. There is the expected ones like Animal Friendship and Charm Animal, and some really interesting ones like Infect with Worms, Mass of Maggots, Wave of Worms, and more. Yeah, they do pretty much what you expect.

This is all about one-third of the book. And this was all then I would be really happy. I am glad someone wrote this book. This is a needed sort of witch that I would not likely write. Ok. I would have never done this one. Worms are great for my wife's garden, and that is about all the use I have for them. So kudos to Wind Lothamer and Ahimsa Kerp for doing this.

We still have the rest of the book.

Belinda Blood The next section covers the land of Annalida, a land near Meatlandia. This is another third of the book and it is interesting, but I have no context for it. Still, the Witch Wood is very cool. The last third (or so) covers the monsters of the land, which as you can imagine, is full of worms.

The NPC witch, Belinda Blood, is also presented. She was a very powerful Worm Witch and could fit the bill as a Witch Queen for my War of the Witch Queen Campaign. It is also all written for Old School Essentials so that is another good fit. Alive or dead she would be a great Witch Queen.

As I mentioned this book is written for OSE and fits well.

So I bought this hoping for a class and a few new spells. I got that. I also got another class, a campaign setting, some monsters, AND a new Witch Queen to add to my Old-School Essentials campaign.

That's pretty nice if you ask me.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Worm Witch: The Life and Death of Belinda Blood
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

pixel_trans.gif
FOR6 The Seven Sisters (2e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 10/27/2022 10:15:43

Originally posted here: https://theotherside.timsbrannan.com/2022/10/100-days-of-halloween-seven-sisters.html

I have had a long and complicated relationship with the Forgotten Realms. They came out while I was getting ready for University. I had my first interactions with the setting were with its fans online. In those days it would have been LISTSERVs on BitNet or on Usenet. I have to admit. The fans annoyed me. Plus I was a Greyhawk and Known World fan, how dare this upstart world displace those?
Then a few things happened. First I picked the 3rd Edition Forgotten Realms guide. I thought it was great. Secondly, I got the Dragon Magazine CD-ROM and I went back and reread some of the old articles and realized the depth Ed Greenwood contributed to everything in D&D since, well the beginning. Slowly I began to see how rich the Realms were. And yes. Just like those fans that annoyed me so, I began to really like the characters of the Realms.

Case in point. I really, really enjoy the Seven Sisters and The Simbul in particular. So for today's 100 Days of Halloween, I wanted to talk about these seven extraordinary women, of which two of them are called witches.

FOR6 The Seven Sisters (2e)

PDF and softcover book. 128 pages. Color cover, black & white art.

This book covers the Seven Sisters, the Chosen of Mystra; Alustriel, Dove Falconhand, Laeral Silverhand, The Simbul, Storm Silverhand, Syluné, and Qilué Veladorn.

Before delving into this book one thing is certain, Ed Greenwood loves these characters. He talks about them in the pages of Dragon magazine, his books, and all his writings. He knows them and loves them and it shows. This is something I keep in mind while reading this.

This book and these characters are an obvious nod to something that has been described as one of the oldest stories in the world, The Seven Sisters or the Pleiades star cluster near the Belt of Orion. We call them "the Seven Sisters" but today we only can see six with the naked eye. This is because 100,000 years ago we could see a seventh star. This seventh is sometimes called the Lost Sister. Why mention this, well it is obvious when you get into this that Ed, as usual, did his homework before class.

Introduction

This section details what this book is and how to use it. There is even some background fluff. Ed even says we can take these "powerful characters that can easily be renamed and fiddled with for use in other campaigns." I am holding on to that.

Who are the Seven Sisters?

This is an overview of the Seven going through them all very briefly. Only six are mentioned here and the Seventh...well that is our missing sister and she will be detailed soon enough.

The Story of the Seven

We get an overview not just of the Seven and how they came to be but the nature of the Chosen, in particular the Chosen of Mystra. They all are the children of a ranger and Harper named Dornal Silverhand and Elué Shundar a half-elf sorceress who agreed to be the host of Mystra's spirit and power. Soon seven girls were born in the winter of each following year. Anastra Syluné, (761 DR), Endue Alustriel (762 DR), Ambara Dove (763 DR); Ethena Astorma "Storm" (764 DR), Anamanué Laeral (765 DR), Alassra Shentrantra "The Simbul" (766 DR), and Erésseae Qilué (767 DR). Though being the host of such magical power Elué was withering away and was little more than a lich while she was pregnant with Qilué. So Mystra transplanted the unborn baby into the womb of a nearby drow adventuress whose own unborn child had died in her womb. Elué died and Dornal, disgusted with what the Goddess had done went out to seek his own death leaving the six girls in the care of Mystra herself.

I would go into more detail here, but that is retelling the story already here.

Powers of the Chosen

Now here is the chapter on how I discovered this book. I was looking for some details on the Chosen of Mystra. There are a lot of powers granted to those favored by the gods.

The Seven

Each chapter that follows is named for one of the Seven. They are in order, Alustriel, Dove Falconhand, Laeral Silverhand, The Simbul, Storm Silverhand, Syluné, and Qilué Veladorn.

There is some history, backstory, some fiction, their true name, and more. A stat block is given for each, and make no mistake these are powerful characters. Each chapter lists her powers, what people think of her, what angers her, what pleases her, and what she can be expected to be doing. There is also black & white art of each sister. The only time I have seen them all together and in color is the cover (promotional images) for the novel Silverfall.

The fiction bits are fine, though I will note that the piece accompanying The Simbul's chapter is the same as the Pages of the Mages book and "The Wizards Three" from Dragon #200, December 1993. So yeah this is the third time I have read it, but I don't care. I love the fact that there are the three most powerful mages of three different worlds and they all fear Her.

It would be natural for me to say that this sister got more attention and this other one got less, but all get about the same level of detail and attention.

Spells of the Seven

New spells developed or used by the sisters. 105 new spells. Some I have ended up in later editions of D&D, but many are still new.

Magical Items of the Seven

Likewise, there are some special and even unique magic items. There are nine here.

Using the Seven Sisters in a Campaign

A guide on how to use these powerful sisters by engaging what they are most interested in. There is also a brief mention of any situation where more than one would be encountered.

--

Outside of the chapters on the Spells and Magic items there is not a lot here that is edition specific. I mean yes there are NPC stat blocks for each sister, but I can easily say that for example Qilué is a 16th-level cleric. Or that The Simbul is a dual-classed 30th-level mage and 6th-level fighter. Consequently, she is a Sorcerer 20/Archmage 2/Wizard 10 in D&D 3rd Edition. So their levels I say are guidelines. Strong guidelines, but guidelines all the same. Although you have someone like Dove Falconhand and you can see her progression from 1st Edition to 3rd Edition. The point being that this book is still useful for many versions of D&D, not just AD&D Second Edition.

I don't think I have even scratched the surface of what I can do with this.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
FOR6 The Seven Sisters (2e)
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

pixel_trans.gif
DMGR7 The Complete Book of Necromancers (2e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 10/26/2022 12:05:27

Originially posted here: https://theotherside.timsbrannan.com/2022/10/100-days-of-halloween-complete-book-of.html

In AD&D 1 the example of the Illusionist gave birth to the specialty wizards of AD&D 2nd Ed. One of those specialty wizards was the Necromancer. Though, unlike the Illusionist, the Transmuter, or even the Evoker, the Necromancer got its own book.

The Complete Book of Necromancers was one of those books that everyone seemed to want. I remember picking it up back when it was first published. I paid $15 for it. Later the cover price jumped to $18 and soon it became very rare. No idea why. The aftermarket price jumped considerably and I ended up selling mine on eBay back in 2000 for $81. Not a bad deal really. I ended up re-buying again recently at Half-Price Books for $9.

DMGR7 The Complete Book of Necromancers

PDF and softcover book. 128 pages. Black & white interior art. For this review, I am considering my softcover edition and the PDF from DriveThruRPG.

Let's be honest, few classes have had the spotlight quite like Necromancers have had. There have been many attempts before and since. But when comes down to it, the 2nd Ed Complete Book of Necromancers is the gold standard that all other books on Necromancy are compared to. This book is packed. Even the font size is smaller than the other Class books for AD&D 2nd Ed.

Introduction

Our introduction informs us that this is a book for DMs to make memorable foes. Indeed throughout the book refers to the Necromancers as NPCs. Even warnings are given about Necromancer PCs of higher than the 9th level.

Chapter 1: Necromancers

Details "The Standard Necromancer" or even "The Masters of the Dark Art" with minimum ability scores and the rolling methods to gain them (with a table on page 10). Additionally, only humans can be necromancers. Role-playing wise I can see this. Elves would not be concerned with the spirits of the dead and if they wanted to speak to them then they have the books they wrote. Dwarves and Halflings are very much about the here and now. Mechanically though there is no reason to assume they can be, save that this is AD&D.

We get an extended Necromancer (Wizard) XP advancement table to level 30. There are also details about weapon and non-weapon proficiencies. New non-weapon proficiencies are also given.

There are also new Kits for the Necromancer. They are the Archetypal Necromancer, Anatomist, Deathslayer (killer of the undead), Philosopher, and Undead Master. Additionally, two kits from the Complete Book of Wizards and the Complete Sha'ir's Handbook are brought over for use here. They are the Witch and the Ghul Lord.

Chapter 2: Dark Gifts

Covers the powers of Necromancy. This starts with a discussion on Dual Classes characters (remember Human only) each combination is discussed such as Fighter/Necromancer, Thief/Necromancer, Cleric/Necromancer, and the Psionicist/Necromancer.

Vile Pacts and Dark Gifts cover the powers Necromancers are likely to pick up as they gain the notice of dark powers.

Despite all the recommendations above, up next is a section on Humanoid Necromancers like Drow and Githyanki.

Chapter 3: The Price

Details the down-side of dealing with necromancy. While the social stigma stuff might be a blessing to many necromancers, things like deformities and body afflictions are less welcome.

Chapter 4: The Dark Art

This deals with the magic and the spells of Necromancy. A great section for any sort of AD&D 2nd ed DM really. It discusses "Black" or "Criminal" Necromancy, "Gray" or Neutral Necromancy, and "Benign" or "White" Necromancy.

There are 25 new spells from levels 1 to 9 here. Many I note still live on in new editions.

Chapter 5: Death Priests

Can't let wizards have all the fun. Besides, Necromancy is not just a school of arcane magic but a sphere of divine magic as well. Death Priests (Clerics) get the same treatment as did the Wizards above. Including an advancement table to level 30. Here different gods/faiths are discussed that might be a home to a Death Priest. The obvious are the God of the Dead. But also the Goddess of Murder, God of Pestilence, God of Suffering, and the Lord of the Undead.

Chapter 6: The Priest Sphere

Cover the necromancy priest sphere and spells. Here we get 18 new priest spells of levels 1 to 7.

Chapter 7: Allies

Covers everything from Apprentices, Henchmen, Familiars (including Undead ones), and Undead minions. Undead minions get the most detail with various sorts of undead discussed.

There is a great section on Secret Societies. I used this one quite a lot when I developed my Circle of Six Necromancer group. A group of bad guys that I STILL use today (though only three are still active).

Chapter 8: Tools of the Trade

Covers potions, poisons, various magical items (including some new), and necromantic lore.

Chapter 9: The Campaign

Looking back I realize there is a lot in this chapter I STILL use. The first is Sahu the Island of the Necromancer Kings. Granted an Ilse of Necromancers is not 100% original and I could have easily got it from Clark Ashton Smith, but this one comes together nicely for AD&D 2nd and still works for me today.

There are some adventure hooks connected to Sahu and some more connected to the various NPCS found at the end of this section. That's is the other thing I still use. The NPCs here were quite memorable to me.

Appendix 1 Common Spells for Necromancers: Lists of spells and their sources by Offensive and Defensive capability.

Appendix 2 and Appendix 3 Necromancy spells for Wizards (2) and Clerics (3).

Appendix 4 Index of Necromantic spells: Alphabetical listing.

There is so much here that would later find homes in the 3e Book of Vile Darkness and the 4e Heroes of Shadow. And much that is still very useful today.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
DMGR7 The Complete Book of Necromancers (2e)
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

pixel_trans.gif
PHBR4 The Complete Wizard's Handbook (2e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 10/26/2022 12:00:58

Originally posted here: https://theotherside.timsbrannan.com/2022/10/100-days-of-halloween-complete-wizards.html

Since I have been doing spooky things in general and witchy things in particular, this one might stretch this notion a bit. But this book does give us our first-ever official Witch class, er... kit for AD&D. So for that reason alone I should consider it. But there are other reasons for me to consider this.

The Complete Wizard's Handbook (AD&D 2nd Edition)

PDF and softcover editions. Black & White interior art. 128 Pages.

For this review, I am considering the PDF on DriveThruRPG and my softcover book from 1990.

So a bit of background first. AD&D 2nd Edition came out in later 1989 and introduced the concept of Kits. These were roles that could be taken by a class. They are similar in many respects to the sub-classes or archetypes of D&D 5. You took a kit at the first level and that gave some powers, abilities, and restrictions. They quickly got bloated and dare I say, game-breaking (looking at you The Complete Bard's Handbook) but the early ones like this gave the game some great flavor, and others, like The Complete Psionics Handbook, extended the rules in interesting ways.

The Complete Wizard's Handbook is all about wizards, magic-users, and magic.

Chapter 1: Schools of Magic

This is not a classroom-like school (though it can be) it discusses the 8 schools of magic codified by AD&D (that is still around today). In AD&D 2e you could have a "Specialist Mage" or someone dedicated to a particular school, they excel in casting spells from that school but can't cast spells from an opposing school. The example in the Players Handbook is the Illusionist, a holdover from AD&D 1st Ed. Arguably the most popular would become the Necromancer. (more on that later).

Each school is detailed and the requirements for each are also given on top of the requirements for a Generalist Wizard. For example, a Conjurer must have some human blood (seems random) and Enchanters need a Charisma score of 16 or above (that makes sense).

Chapter 2: Creating New Schools

This covers the creation of new schools of magic that either augment or abandon the schools above. It is a great primer on how magic might work and how it could be learned. While the standard schools are not dropped here, they are reorganized. This chapter is also helpful for anyone wanting to rethink their wizards can do. If Original D&D gave us a magic-user that can do anything, this gives us multiple types of wizards that collectively can do it all and not always the same way.

Chapter 3: Wizard Kits

At only 20 some-odd pages this section feels larger. And it is also the focus of my attention today. There are 10 kits detailed here, each with requirements, preferred schools, barred schools and what they do. The kits are the Academician (scholar of magic), Amazon Sorcerers (what it says on the tin, but all the The Complete Class book had an Amazon kit), Anagakok (Wizards from primitive cultures), Militant Wizard (also what it sounds like), Mystic (in this case a sort of pacifist wizard), Patrician (a wizard of noble birth), Peasant Wizard (just the opposite), Savage Wizard (wizard from very remote areas), Witch (why we are here), and the Wu-Jen updated from the 1st Ed AD&D Oriental Adventures.

I mentioned this was the first official witch in AD&D, this is true, but it is not the first official witch of D&D. That honor goes to the witch school for Magic-users in GAZ3 The Principalities of Glantri which predates this by 3 years. The witch here is easily the most detailed of the all the kits along with the Wu-Jen.

The kit creation section was a well-used and abused feature of this book for me when working on other kits and subclasses.

Chapter 4: Role-Playing

This chapter covers all sort of role-playing advice and tips for wizard characters. Various personality types are covered here; the Altruist, the Brooder, the Mystery Man, the Showman., and more. There are also adventure ideas and plot hooks for wizard characters.

Chapter 5: Combat and the Wizard

AD&D wizards at low levels are easy to kill, so combat tips are most welcome. This covers Defensive spells and Offensive spells and how to best use them. There is also a bit about the restricted weapons list of the wizard.

Chapter 6: Casting Spells in Unusual Conditions

Details what spells are effective where and more importantly which ones are not effective. This includes the mundane underwater and the more fantastic environments like the planes. Also various conditions on the spell caster like blindness, impaired hearing, and speech.

Chapter 7: Advanced Procedures

Covers level and spell advancement to 32nd level. Details on various spells and a bunch of materials on how illusions work in the game. Details on spell components, spell research, and magic item research and creation.

Chapter 8: New Spells

Pretty much what it says. 40 new spells for AD&D.

Chapter 9: Wizardly Lists

Various lists from 25 helpful familiars, to five unusual places for spell components, nine magic items that have not been invented yet, and more. There are maps, locations, and even 12 new magic items.

The utility of this book for AD&D 2nd can't be undersold. There is more here than just class information there is also information on the very lifeblood of most fantasy games; magic. While the book is solid AD&D 2nd ed there is enough information here for players of any edition of D&D.

I have mentioned in the past that the magic school and wizard training information makes a great complement to the magic school found in GAZ3 The Principalities of Glantri. In fact most of my late 90s AD&D 2nd ed games revolved around this idea. I even brought many of those ideas back to my short-lived D&D 4th Edition game. And most recently have gone back to this book for my newest AD&D 2nd ed character Sinéad.

I am surprised about how much I can still get from this book.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
PHBR4 The Complete Wizard's Handbook (2e)
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

pixel_trans.gif
The Plane Above: Secrets of the Astral Sea (4e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 10/24/2022 15:29:21

Originally posted here: https://theotherside.timsbrannan.com/2022/10/monstrous-mondays-devils.html

PDF and Hardcover. 160 Pages. Color covers and interior art. I am considering both my hardcover (one of the last D&D books I ever bought at Borders I believe) and the PDF from DriveThruRPG.

4e reordered the Cosmos and that is fine for me really. In 3e they explained that how one perceives the outer planes is largely based on how they believe they should perceive them. So Hell in 4e is both a "Lower Plane" and an "Upper Plane." No contradiction really.

This book has the same relationship to The Plane Below as the Fiendish Codices have to each other.

Chapter 1: Astral Adventures cover adventuring on the Astral Sea. Again it is easy to see why Wizards of the Coast moved their version of Spelljammer to the Astral. The seeds for that are all here. Indeed Spelljammers are mentioned on page 19 as a means of siling the Astral Sea.

Chapter 2: Divine Dominions deal with the homes of the gods and the afterlives of mortals. Different sorts of creatures are detailed here; gods, angels, the exalted, and Outsiders. A few divine domains are also detailed. Arvandor is the home of elves and eladrin. Celestia the Seven Heavens. Chernoggar is a plane/world that essentially has the Lawful Evil Gods of War Bane and Gruumsh fighting it out for all of eternity.

The Nine Hells get their own special sections. This repeats some of the details (but not copy-paste) from 3e about the fall of Asmodeus and the creation of Hell. [Aside: D&D really needs its own Silmarillion, Kalevala, or Enūma Eliš] There some small adventure encounters here too. A few more domains are also detailed.

Chapter 3: The Deep Astral Sea is very far removed from the normal lives of mortals. Here various new races are discussed like the familiar Githyanki, and the less familiar Maruts and Quom. Here there are also forgotten and "shattered" domains like Carceri and Pandemonium.

Chapter 4: Astral Denizens cover our "monsters." Here are 44 new monster stat blocks including six new devils. Among these, there is the return of Bahgtru, Luthic, and Other Side favorite Vaprak.

This book would make for a great trilogy of books with "The Plane Below" and "Manual of the Planes." With the PDFs from DriveThruRPG it would not be too difficult to print them out and rearrange as needed. It would be a 480-page book, but it would also be the ultimate source of the planes knowledge in D&D 4e.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Plane Above: Secrets of the Astral Sea (4e)
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

pixel_trans.gif
Fiendish Codex II: Tyrants of the Nine Hells (3.5)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 10/24/2022 15:28:28

Originally posted here: https://theotherside.timsbrannan.com/2022/10/monstrous-mondays-devils.html

PDF and Hardcover. 158 Pages. Color covers and interior art.

This book does for Devils what the Fiendish Codex I: Hordes of the Abyss did for demons. Sadly there is no Fiendish Codex III. For this review I am considering my hardcover I bought back when it came out and the PDF on DriveThruRPG.

Preface: This might one of the more important bits of D&D fiction out there. Devils in D&D have always had a problem. No not from busy-body mothers and evangelicals looking to ban D&D because of devils and demons (they would find something else anyway), the issue is that the very nature of the devils in question tie them closely to the Abrahamic religions. Asmodeus is a Jewish demon, Baalzebul comes to us from Beelzebub, another demon found in the Bible by way of Judaism. Mammon comes from the New Testament and Belial from the Old Testament. Remove the Judeo-Christian origins who are these demons? This new(ish) preface gives us the new origins of these devils and how they fit into the D&D cosmology and the Blood War.

Introduction is just that, tells you what this book is about.

Chapter 1: All About Devils covers devils and hell. The only valuable things in Hell to the devils are souls.These are what they strive to collect, to barter, and bargain with. Where demons are spit up from the nature of the Abyss itself, devils need souls to make more devils. This should imply there is a distinct dichotomy in the devilish hierarchy; devils that were raised up from souls to devils that fell. Speaking of hierarchy this chapter goes into that and how devils rise up from one form to the next. Also discussed are Demons and Devils and the Blood War.

There is advice on running devilish encounters and how to deal with Faustian Pacts, devil worship and infernal alliances. Yeah, this in not 80s D&D. Pretty much everything in this chapter can be used with any edition of D&D.

Chapter 2: The Hells. A detailed "guided tour" of Hell. We are going over some of the same ground back when Ed Greenwood took us here in 1983 in Dragon #75 and Dragon #76. There is more details here and some layers have changed a bit; Avernus comes to mind. Throughout the layers, we also get a listing of the various D&D Gods that live in the Hells. Something that I spent a lot of time covering in my series One Man's God. There are updates not just from the AD&D 1st ed time of Ed Greenwood's article and the Blood War material of late 2nd Ed AD&D, but from 3.0 D&D as well. Phlegethos is now controlled by Fierna instead of jointly controlled by her and her father and Glasya in the newly anointed Lord of Malbolge having offed the Hag Countess. All great material and more than I'll ever use in a game.

Chapter 3: Game Rules. This cover the 3.5 D&D specific rules. There are Hellbred characters, new feats, and new Prestige Classes. Of special interest to me is the Hellfire Warlock. There are also plenty of new spells.

Chapter 4: Devils are our new monster listings of devils. The Abishai are back, along with 16 other devils, some new and some updated.

Chapter 5: Lords of the Nine detail the Nine Archdukes. You can pretty much tell what version of D&D you are using by who the Archduke of Avernus is. In 3.5 it is Bel. Though I think he might have been it for late 2nd ed as well. All the Archdukes get a bit of a makeover from their 1st Ed days. Dispater has hair now, Mammon has a new cursed form, Levistus is the lord of Stygia, and Glasya gets the best upgrade and is now Lord of Sixth Layer Malbolge. Baalzebul still looks like a slug. Mephistopheles is still working on Hellfire. Only Asmodeus is constant. As he demands it.

As its sister product, this is a great book on Devils and the Nine Hells for any edition of D&D.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fiendish Codex II: Tyrants of the Nine Hells (3.5)
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

pixel_trans.gif
Witchblood
Publisher: Fantasy Heartbreaker
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 10/23/2022 14:56:52

Originally Posted here: https://theotherside.timsbrannan.com/2022/10/100-days-of-halloween-witchblood.html

Witchblood

PDF. 237 pages. Color cover, black & white interior art.

There is a hardcover option for this book, but I do not have it. Yet.

I knew this game was going to be good when I started reading it. First off the authors list Howard's Conan and Tanith Lee's "Kill the Dead." Seriously. I LOVE Kill the Dead. I love Tanith Lee. We are off to a great start. Also listed are Russian Folk Tales and Gimm's Fairy Tales. Also mentioned is Ron Edward's Sorcerer, a game I do rather enjoy.

Rules Basics

Ok we learn that this game is based on One Roll Engine. Knowledge of that game is not needed here, which is good because while I know it I have never played it.

This is a character focused game so we are going to focus on that. All characters (called Wanderers here, more on that) have Identities and Qualities. Identies come in pairs and characters have three of them. They are numbered from 0 to 5. This is a dice pool game where you will roll a number of d10 based on the Identities and one of the Qualities. So anywhere between 3 and 10 dice. Successes, Critical successes and failures are also detailed.

The Fiction

The world of Witchblood is the Forrest. A giant forest that covers an area about the size of Europe, which tech levels about late 18th early 19th century. Ok another plus for me. The game discusses how to being to create the world.the

The game is divided into this Basic Introduction, the Player's Guide, and Storyteller's Guide.

Player's Section

Chapter 1: We start here with some background setting fiction to get a feel for this world. It sets the mood and stage well. For me it already feels familiar. I have seen this world before. No. Not in print, but it is the world you see in fairy tales.

Chapter 2: Character creation follows. The characters are known as Wanderers, people who wander the world to learn more about their world and themselves. You build a character in 6 steps. 1. Name and Concept, 2. Birthright. 3. Calling. 4. Profile. 5. Bonuses. 6. Finishing touches.

Each Birthright is like your species or race. We have Changeling, Commoner, Ghostborn, Noble, Troll, Witchblood (thus the name), and Zver. Each gets two pages and helps decide your Indenties and advancement paths.

Callings are like classes or professions though they go deeper than that. They are the Balladeer, Devoted, Fortune Teller, Robber, Sellsword, Trader, and Wise One. Birthright is balanced against Calling.

Chapter 3: We get the section on Identies and Qualities. Identities as mentioned before are in pairs, Patience and Cunning, Vigor and Grace, Understanding and Persuasion. These are subdivided into two more pairs. For example Patience and Cunning also has aspects Generosity and Selfishness and Demonstration and Observation.

Points in these allow the characters to perform actions.

Chapter 4 covers these actions. The identies and qualities give you points that you then roll d10s. Roll these and look for matches or sets. So things like riding a horse in a dangerous situation would be Graceful Endurance. Just riding a horse would need no to roll. Various sorts of rule situations are covered.

Chapter 5 is the chapter on Magic. Magic here is not the organized magic of D&D. Its not even the emotional but structured magic of say Mage. Magic is, in the words of this book, bloody, blunt, and feral. There are many ways magic can manifest. There is "Petty Magic" or minor magics and anyone with a supernatural birthright can have Petty Magics. Charms are things you can pick up along the way and allow characters to do things others can't. Hunches are ways the characters can manipulate magic around them into effects. They are not something the character "does" but rather "discovers." Divination, Pacts, Lineage and Deeds, Sorcerery, Spoiling, Gifts and Shapeshifting are all magical talents that have their own means of working. The variety here is amazing and paints a picture of a world steeped in magic.

Storytelling Section

Chapter 6: This starts our Storytelling section or GMs section. It explains again that this world is largely a combination of two genres; pulp fantasy and fairy tales. This first chapter goes over the elements of these two genres and how the designers break the down the themes and rebuild them in the world of Witchblood. It is an interesting breakdown of both genres and what makes them work.

We also get some Storytelling tips. There is section on NPCs like Companions, or characters essential to the Wanderers and how they fit into the story, and Locals, or the NPCs that don't interact all the time with the Wanderers. Antagonists are those NPCs that work against the Wanderers. So exactly what they sound like. Each of these types get their motivations defined. A good guide for any game really.

Given the nature of magic in this world/game, Enchantments are the NPCs of magic. They are continuing or permanent magics. So Sleeping Beauty's sleeping curse is a good example of what this sort of thing is. They are defined more or less like other NPCs. Now this is a FANTASTIC idea.

Chapter 7: Covers "The Village" or "Where the Mild Thing Are." Ok that is a bit glib on my part. It is about where the humans live. This covers the various people living in the "Village." There are various roles like Butcher, Miller, Fisher and so on. There are also people outside the Village, like Bandits, Creeping Trees (LOVE THIS), Predators and so on.

We get themes going on in the Village, like Abuse of Authority, Domestic Violence, Human Sacfrice and more. This can be a dark game if you choose.

Chapter 8: Encounters. This covers what is in the Woods outside Village. What I love about this is everything I wanted to be here, is here; So Spirits, Ghosts, and Witches. And things I didn't like The Aunts, the Burned Man, the Dead Robbers, the Hearteater, the Mancutter and more.

This chapter is great. These encounters are so well detailed and thought out that I would love to add them to other games. Just so much flavor here.

--

This game is so rich in flavor and depth. I once said that even in D&D I don't explore dungeons, I explore characters. This is one of the better character exploration games. The Villiage, the Forest, even the Burned Man and the Mayor. They are all there for the sole purpose of exploring your character. Think about the fairy tales you know, most are named for the lead character. This is what we have here.

This game lets you do that. And to do that there is plenty of adversity here. Not just in terms of the features in the Woods but in the themes you are expected to explore. Not all of them will be comfortable or nice. It is Grimdark, but not always nihilistic. Characters work towards making things better OR at least that is their expectation. In many ways this makes things much darker than say Dungeon Crawl Classics (no slight on DCC).

This would be a great game for a group of good friends to explore. I also think it is a good game for people to use to explore different aspects of themselves. I talked about notions where the characters we make are different extensions of our own psyche. For example my Paladin character Johan is a manifestation of a Freudian Super-Ego and my Witch character Larina is a manifestation of my Jungian Anima. Just to add some armchair psychology to it. This game would do the same.

The game is fantastic and I am going to have to come back to it later this week. Maybe create a character.

There is not a ton of art (though the cover is fantastic), but I don't see this as a negative thing. Reading this reminded me of a book of fairy tales and legends I had as a kid where the only art was on the chapter pages. It invoked that same feeling in me and that is likely exactly what the designers wanted.

This not a game to do in an afternoon and be done. This one should be played a few times. I would even suggest on a regular interval; much like you read to your children before bedtime every night, this should be done at the same time in the same place. Really get that feeling you are leaving this world and move into one that sits in that liminal place between dreams and nightmares and being awake.

Can't wait to explore it more.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Witchblood
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

pixel_trans.gif
Fane of the Witch King
Publisher: Necromancer
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 10/22/2022 00:03:35

Originally posted here: https://theotherside.timsbrannan.com/2022/10/100-days-of-halloween-fane-of-witch-king.html

I have spent all month long so far on "Witch Queen" adventures, I thought maybe a Witch King might be nice. Spoiler. There is still a Witch Queen here.

Fane of the Witch King

Print and PDF. 68 pages. Color cover, black & white interior art.

So this one goes all the way back to the 3.x days from Necromancer Games. It is an adventure for 4 to 6 characters of 10th level and higher.

The adventurers investigate the site of an ancient and evil city where the minions of the now-dead Witch King reside and plot his return. Among them is his former lover, the Witch Queen Kytara Bane.

"Witch" in both cases just means "evil spell-caster" but I can work with it. So this is a Necromancer Games product so expect there to be plenty of monsters to kill, deep forgotten dungeons and everything that made 1st Edition adventures so much fun. The NPCs are also great in a "how can we make something so evil" sort of way. The Witch King Osenkej for example was the product of a Balor father and Red Wyrm mother. Kytara Bane, his queen, was/is a Half-nymph/Half-demon. There is the Ghul Legion a band of dark elves and gnolls working for a group of evil Stone Giants and their Black Dragon leader Ghul Lacronus. All who they have to fight to get into the Black Fane and then to get out they have to face Kytara Bane herself. Along the way they can also run into the Covenant of the Claw, they are a half-elf/half-dragon, a half-human/half-dragon and a half-gnoll/half-dragon. Really giving those half-dragon template rules a workout.

Not to mention all the demons and undead running around including a demonic triceratops! This adventure is a meat grinder and the characters are assumed to be level 10. I think they need to be a little stronger.

The appendices are full. A new spell. New magic items including new artifacts. Five maps.

The locations are great, and that is what the adventure gives top billing, but for me, it is really about these NPCs.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fane of the Witch King
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

pixel_trans.gif
Displaying 61 to 75 (of 1386 reviews) Result Pages: [<< Prev]   1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9 ...  [Next >>] 
pixel_trans.gif
pixel_trans.gif Back pixel_trans.gif
0 items
 Gift Certificates